Poetry in Pastrami: The Carnegie Deli Goes Lit
In an effort to boost sagging sales, famed New York eatery the Carnegie Deli—home of the mile high pastrami on rye—is taking a new tack. To appeal to the appetites of the hoards of hungry literati prowling midtown Manhattan, they’ve added a lineup of new deli creations named after the leading lights of Jewish lit. So, now joining the “Uncle Milty” and “Henny’s Heaven,” intrepid fressers (look it up!) will be able to sink their teeth into the following mavens—Jewish men who disappointed their mothers by not becoming doctors, but who have reached greater success in becoming overstuffed sandwiches:
The Portnoy * $8.95
Fresh liver and lots of it, piled high on some very crusty white bread. The perfect blend of kosher and trayf, the supreme shiksa goddess of sandwichdom, this delight is served best with a side of bile. Phil ’er up!
Uncle Saul’s Special * $7.95
Augie would march a mile to grab a bite of this one. Fourteen layers of meaning lie buried in this hodgepodge of all culinary styles—from nods to classical Escoffier cuisine to the latest sizzling burger from that greasy-spoon diner on the wrong side of the tracks. This one knocked ‘em out at the Nobels, and it’ll have you running for seconds yourself.
Malamud’s Mish-Mosh * $11.95
So you shouldn’t go hungry, Uncle Bernie liked this repast steeped high with everything that makes a meal a real oy vey-inducing affair. You’ve got your schmaltz and your matzoh balls, you’ve got kreplach and kugle and kishkes. There’s lotsa latkes and just a zetz of kasha. And, to wrap it all up, a weird, borscht-belt pigeon with a distinct resemblance to Jackie Mason hops around doing shtick until you cry uncle.
Kazin’s Kvetcher * $9.95
This sandwich will give the critic in anyone plenty to hate. It’s a perfectly diabolical combination of all the worst ingredients, self-indulgent, solipsistic, badly nuanced, with more than a soupcon of overly pious insincerity and topped off by a healthy dollop of yentaing by one of those smarty-pants Bloom boys. Who needs it? Or, as your mother used to say, why eat it? You could lose an eye?